I love being in the country and feeling immersed in the changes from one season to another. This week I looked out and noticed that a magnificent, colorful fall had suddenly shifted to a bare winter landscape. It’s no less welcome than any other season, though, because I know if I choose to yield to this rhythm, it gives the chance to go inside, to rest and plan, to gather ’round with others.
I welcome the retreat. How many tomatoes and green peppers does one really need? Over the weekend I finally pulled out the last vestiges of what had been an amazingly abundant garden (leaving the still-thriving arugula and mustard greens), threw all the stalks to the chickens and put the beds down for winter. It was immensely satisfying to rake up all the straw that has covered the ground of the poultry yard all summer, knowing that all of our kitchen and garden waste, fed to the chickens, had been used up, scratched in and decomposed into a rich mix that will go right back into next year’s production. I credit a blog post on Northwest Edible Life for this innovative composting approach. No yucky bin! I’ve already put several new beds into place as well, using wooden pallets as ready made planters with built- in weed control.
I can get pretty excited about all of this, as my husband will tell you. (He remarked that I was “glowing” when I came in from working out there on Saturday. Must be that super-charged chicken manure!) Anyway, if I let myself I could get quite carried away thinking about next spring, but it will be here soon enough. For now I intend to enjoy this time that Mother Nature has given us to sit back. There’s writing to do, books to read, food from our summer labors to eat, family and friends to enjoy, and as always–a glass of wine to toast the lovely, ever changing miracle of the seasons.
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